Lay Life in a Year

52 Reflections on JPII's vision for the Laity

Discover the Lay Vocation

What does it actually mean to be a lay person in the world? How are we to serve God, His Church, and His world? How are we to reach holiness?

A lot of the answers we hear can be boiled down to one of two misguided views:

Mistake 1:The laity can just sit back and do the bare minimum. Most of the work is for the bishops, priests, and religious.”


Mistake 2: “The laity needs more authority and power and we really don’t need these bishops and priests telling us what to do.”

The issue? Neither of these takes are what the Church actually teaches. For years, there has been extreme confusion about what it means to be a lay person, which is why Pope St. John Paul II wrote Christifideles Laici.

52 Weekly Reflections

This is his Apostolic Exhortation on the Mission and Vocation of the Lay Faithful and it has gone largely unread! In it, he shows how the lay life is central to God’s plan for the world and how it is meant to lead us to the height of holiness.

The lay life, like priestly and religious life, is designed to make us saints who transform the world and renew the Church.

Here at reCatholic, discovering Christifideles Laici has lit a fire in our hearts and transformed how we live out our lay vocation to help serve Jesus. And we want to make this treasure accessible for you too.

Sign up to discover the lay life in a year as we break open John Paul II’s vision for the laity in 52 short, weekly reflections.

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Read Past Reflections

Week 23 : Identity and Mission of Lay Christians

Who are you supposed to be and what are you supposed to do? The answer is really the center of the entire document because it has the potential to change everything about our lives. John Paul II does not mince words: You cannot be a Christian and live just like...

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Week 22 : Responsible for the Church’s Mission

Have you ever told God no?  Moses did. He tried to get out of going to Egypt and came up with all sorts of excuses. Faced with the weight of this responsibility he began to panic: “Who am I?” “What do I tell them?” “Suppose they don’t believe me or listen to me?” “I...

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Week 21 : Kingly Mission

Without a kingdom to rule, the title of “king” is just empty. A king's true identity and purpose are tied to his realm and responsibilities. Since all Christians are called to share in the kingship of Christ, this means that Christians have a real "kingdom" where we...

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Week 20 : Prophetic Mission

Ezekiel cooked his food over cow poop to symbolize the defiled food the Israelites would eat in exile (Ezekiel 4:12-15).  John the Baptist ate locusts.  And as a way to show how Israel failed to cling to Him, God told Jeremiah to buy some underwear, wear it, then hide...

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Week 19: The Sacrifice of Spilled Cereal

It was a hard morning with the kids. The oldest didn’t listen and spilled his cereal all over the floor. I was upset, but surprisingly, my wife wasn’t. She refilled his bowl, patted him on the head, and then quietly got down on her knees to clean up his mess. It was...

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Week 18: Continuing Christ’s Mission

You may have heard St. Paul’s shocking words: “We make up for what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.” (Col. 1:24) Is he saying Jesus isn’t enough? It’s a bit like when my 4 year old helps me cook. Well, he feels like he’s helping, but mostly I let him add some...

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